While Maine's high school graduation rate is among the highest in the nation, the percentage of students who pursue post secondary education is significantly lower. The Aspirations in Maine program works to combat the growing gap between Maine high school students' college intentions and their actual enrollment. Through student initiative, the McKeen Center and Bowdoin College seek to provide resources to help high school students in Maine consider college as a post secondary option."At first the idea of college truly intimidated me, and everything seemed extremely overwhelming, but having this experience has shown me that college is something I can do." - a local high school student
Students from all over Maine come to Bowdoin to experience life on a college campus. Each student, usually a high school freshman, is matched with a Bowdoin mentor for the day to follow their schedule, sit in on a class, and eat lunch in the dining hall. There are also "mini-classes", organized specifically for the visiting high school students. After having lunch in the dining hall, students hear briefly from an Admissions staff member, who gives a brief overview of the financial aid and admissions processes, and then have the opportunity to ask questions of a panel of Bowdoin students who grew up in Maine.
College Students for College is a student-led service group that provides support to high school students navigating the process of postsecondary planning. This student group takes on the logistical planning of college tours. Like mini high school visit days, small groups of students from Brunswick High School regularly visit campus for a campus tour, lunch in the dining hall, and a brief conversation with representatives from Admissions and Financial Aid.
Aspirations in Maine began as a student initiative in partnership with the Mitchell Institute. Under the guidance of the McKeen Center, students began to coordinate the high school visit days. From there, interest grew and through their own initiative students developed regular programming in partnership with local high schools.
If you are interested in getting involved as an Aspirations in Maine host, please contact Abby Roy '16.
If you are interested in getting involved with College Students for College, please contact Caroline Blake '14.
Anyone interested in learning more about the McKeen Center's college aspirations programming or getting involved in either program, may also contact Caitlin Callahan, assistant director.